It can be challenging to stay healthy while traveling for business. You’re likely adjusting to a new time zone, managing a hectic schedule and eating several meals out. Here are a few tips to make it easier:
Instead of ordering a glass of wine on your flight, drink as much water as possible. I use the interactive airport maps on the TripIt app to find a store near my gate and purchase the largest SmartWater available. I also throw a S’well bottle into my bag, as conference centers and hotels often have purified water on hand.
Pro Tip: As a rule of thumb, most experts recommend consuming 8 ounces of water per hour on a flight and 1 ounce for every pound of body weight during the day.
The food for sale on domestic flights often resembles what you might find in a convenience store (but at night club prices). Pack your own snacks for the plane and throughout your trip to avoid eating poorly. I stock up on dark chocolate nuts and sea salt KIND bars or make my own trail mix—both of which have protein, fiber, curb my sweet tooth and easily fit in a jacket pocket or handbag while I’m on a plane or between meetings.
Pro Tip: Find a convenience store near your hotel with TripIt Nearby Places if you forget to pack snacks or run out mid-trip.
Being stuck on a plane for hours at a time is never great on your body. Though there are plenty of stretches and movements you can do while seated. If you’re drinking enough water, you’ll probably find yourself visiting the lavatory a few times, which is great to keep the blood circulating. It’s also good to take a few minutes when you get in to your hotel to do at least a basic child’s pose stretch.
It can be tempting to overindulge while traveling—especially on an expense account—but having several heavy meals can weigh you down both physically and mentally. Instead, opt for lean protein and fresh produce as much as possible. I try to split more indulgent entrees or desserts with a colleague. Or if I’m by myself and there’s something I really want to try, I’ll request a half-order.
Pro tip: It’s also good to limit the number of alcoholic beverages you consume, as those calories sure do add up, can cloud your judgement and affect your ability to get enough sleep.
Walk or Bike
Walking or biking can be quicker than a taxi or ride-share and optimal for exploring a city with limited free time. I usually try to find a hotel or Airbnb in the vicinity of where I need to be for work but also within walking distance of a few interesting coffee shops and restaurants if possible.
Pro tip: Check with your hotel, as they may have free bikes for guests to use. If not, cities often have rentals throughout busy areas.
Between the re-circulated airplane air and all the handshakes, you should take some steps to be sure your immune system stays strong. I keep both Emergen-C and hand sanitizer in my bag. I also put all my daily vitamins (like my multi-vitamins and probiotics) in a clear zip lock bag next to my toothbrush so I remember to take them.
Getting enough sleep is imperative to performing well while you’re away. This can be particularly challenging when you’re traveling. I usually take an over-the-counter melatonin supplement when I’m in a new time zone and read a book before bed to help wind down instead of using my laptop or channel surfing on the hotel TV.
Finding the time and motivation to work out during a business trip can be difficult. Try getting creative and swimming laps at the hotel pool or asking the concierge to help map out a scenic run. I use the ClassPass app, which offers flexible class schedules in major cities. Whether I’m traveling to New York or London, I can easily find a convenient barre class—keeping some of my usual routine while I’m on the road.
Pro tip: Some hotels offer complimentary classes. You might be pleasantly surprised to find something unique like rooftop yoga.
Do you have any tips of your own to share? Tweet us @TripIt and tell us how you stay healthy while traveling.